The Halo composer, Sean Callery, talks about Master Chief, video game adaptations and his biggest project so far

The winning composer of an Emmy, Sean Callery, has hundreds of episode credits distributed in programs such as Jessica Jones, inhuman, 24, _ and _huesa but even with all those productions in his resume, he had never previously worked on an adaptation of a game on the television. aura. That is pretty good to start, too, considering that it is a franchise that has existed for 20 years and has a main song and a protagonist who are as iconic as they can be. It may not be too surprising then that after working at aureola callery said he fell in love with the series and considers it as big as he has worked.

Callery spoke with comicbook.com before halo premiere in paramount + to talk about this company, the pressures of working on such a large series, the relationship of Master Chief and other videogame projects that he has done or in which he would have an open mind for to work. At that time, Callery said he was still finishing the ninth episode of the series, so his work had not yet finished, but regardless of the episode in which he was working, he said he saw the music of the games as “sacred territory ยป. And he sought to respect him as such in the show.

You can check our conversation with Callery in full below with our revision of aureola found here.

_The interview has been edited for greater clarity and conciseness.

comicbook.com: Have you already been able to see Halo yourself?

Oh yeah. I heard the final mixes, and it’s fun… recently, in the last, I do not know, month, I saw the final rendering of special effects for the show 1. Because battle sequences are quite intense, they look beautiful and sound beautiful. I’ve really fallen in love with the series. It really was the greatest thing I have worked on, and it was also simply a beautiful story and part of a much larger universe from the halo games franchise and so on. So I was very excited about that, but I also wanted to be very respectful with the property and, certainly, with music and everything you came before.

PreviousRoxyo.

What interested you in Halo at all? Has anyone approached? Have you approached them?

They asked me if I would like to interview me. I know they interviewed many people, and I had that interview exactly, I think that a year ago last week, it believes it or not in March 2021. What I loved the story, I read the script and then I saw the draft. Cut of the first episode, which was now closing due to Covid. What I really loved was this character of the master chief, the master chief. This story is through him… he discovers when you look at the program, you will see him wake up parts of himself he did not know. And it was a kind of discovery about him asking himself, which is: “Who am I? What am I doing? What am I doing?”

I just thought it was very interesting to go through Covid, and that we are all alone and work from home, we have all these things deprived. And I think, who of us in the last two years has not done that kind of questions? About us? What is it about? What are the things that are important to us? That is what I got into history.

I thought we are faced with such a current human struggle and, although it develops in a very futuristic world, it is a guy who discovers who he is. Along with other people, too. I simply thought that this was really a convincing part of history, and that is how I described my desire to participate. I think the action and the wonderful armament and those things are incredible. But I think the heart of the history and heart of the characters is what is probably a great part of what has held this successful video game franchise for two decades.

PreviousRoxyo.

VI I saw that some people wondered: if you do not know halo, will you relate to a majorly silent character? Someone who does not speak much. And I appreciate your perspective. Maybe that attracts some new halo fanatics.

I hope so. That was another large part of this, which was, well, how you balance… I do not know if you are going to ask this question, but how do you balance the experience of telling stories so that it is rewarding for existing halo? Fans, and also accessible for people who have never seen or played the game? It is a very interesting and delicate discussion that we reviewed a lot. Because I worked with at least six different producers who actively participated in the creation of the program, and we wanted to make sure to honor the thematic musical contributions of previous composers who wrote truly iconic issues.

At the same time, they wanted to make sure it was not an exact replica of the game experience, because it was a new thread, a new canyon and a separate story, as well as Star Wars spin-offs. So we had to delicately balance how to integrate the things that were really native to the game with a new chapter / canyon. So I was not completely divorced from him, but he was not completely on the same path. It is very challenging.

PreviousRoxyo.

Is this the first adaptation of a videogame in which you have worked?

If it is. Is. Yes, the first adaptation of a secure video game. Yes absolutely.

Is there any other adaptation of video games that you think about what you think you would like to work after doing the first?

Oh, I’m laughing at this moment because I’m still finishing the ninth episode, and at this moment I’d say they ask me in a month. Because honestly, friend, I have never worked on such a big program. They are almost nine hours of content, so there is… the answer is yes. Wow, I’m trying to think what video game would be really interesting. I am not a great, great player, but when I play and I enjoy them, they are wonderful. God, I do not know how to answer that question. There are some very interesting games about… What was that game? _ [Heavy] Rain_, Years ago? Did you ever see that game? About who was the murderer and those things.

I wonder if that would make an interesting movie. I do not know. Maybe I should not say that because I do not know if it is becoming a movie or if someone else has designs. So let me say that my answer is that I do not know, but I would love it. I worked on the James Bond video game, _ all or nothing_ simply based on a movie.

You also did it _24: the game _

Halo TV Series Theme | EPIC VERSION (feat. OG Halo Theme)
I did 24: the game. Yes, I do. That was fun. That was fun.

PreviousRoxyo.

Then, why not do that any longer? Is there anything about perhaps working on video game scores that simply do not like so much?

Oh no. No. In fact, I think that composing video games is probably the hardest, perhaps one of the most difficult things the composers make. Because first, they have to write a lot. There is so much content that it has to be written. Where I really had luck was lucky enough to get involved in television programs that took a long time. Primaria, homeland, Jessica Jones. That was another very interesting.

I’m older, I’m fifty-year old and I have younger colleagues who can make juggling six or seven projects at a time, and I do not do that. Then, when they hire me for a show, I tend to commit me completely. But no, if there was a game project in which someone was interested in me, I probably would like to get on it as soon as I could. Yes, that would be wonderful.

PreviousRoxyo.

Returning to Halo: Obviously you are creating your own music for the program, but the music of the games itself is quite popular. I would say that almost iconic. Everyone knows the musical theme, singing. Is there any additional pressure working on something?

I think there is some pressure. You have spoken with composers, we serve the taste of others. We are work by contract. And the conversations that started from the beginning were: we do not want to completely redo the gaming experience of Halo, because the flow of a game experience is its own energy. And in a linear narrative program like the one to see, it flows differently only because it reproduces the same every time. And they really wanted to have some new topics to accompany what already existed.

And I can not emphasize this enough. I have a lot of respect for the music of the games. I see it almost like a sacred territory, and every time I handled the subject in some way, I consulted Microsoft and said: “I would like to use it here and there,” and then Halo had a certain kind of sound for that and so on. And sometimes there was a very passionate debate about how much the game topics in this series.

So those were decisions that were taken and that I certainly had my opinion about music, but in terms of how much and others, that was really weighed by people above me. And the idea was that this was something you would cite and certainly evoke the topics of the game, but it would also recognize this as its own lane, so to speak. Like Mandalorian, it is very different from Star Wars, but it is still in the Universe of Star Wars.

PreviousRoxyo.

On the subject of using the music of the games, you mentioned to battle how much to use. Did you have free rein to use everything you want from games, or was there any restriction?

We never use any recording of the original content, no. I do not even know if that happened, honestly. I certainly heard the music and wanted to familiarize myself with the infamous and iconic music of the game. He wanted to also understand his relationship. In other words, when you heard it, where part of the game you would listen to it? Because I did not play Aureola a lot, so it was very important for me to know if you are going to listen to Gregorian singing, where part of the Halo Games History would hear it?

This is what I did not want to do. I did not want to simply include a topic somewhere in a story in the program that does not make sense to have the subject there, unless it has its root in some kind of narrative purpose. So those were the types of conversations we had. And we have new characters, new exhibitions, new worlds and all this kind of thing. So those lent themselves to create new sounds and textures for those worlds.

PreviousRoxyo.

I heard that the master chief takes off the helmet in this series. You know it’s a big problem for the master chief to take off my helmet. So I suppose, how do you prepare for a moment as big as that? Do you try that differently from the rest of the work? Do

So for you to know, this is something interesting. I did not know that the fact that the helmet was removed was as important as it was. It was certainly a big problem in the program, since it is the first time we see the face of the actor, and it was a great revelation. So I recognized that it was the case, and I wrote it as such. But then we were playing it, and we went through many different permutations to try to get the right tone, and they said: “Do you realize that he never takes off his helmet into the game?” I said no.” I said: “Oh, my God. I did not know that”.

If I had known, I was wondering if I could have been even more aware of it. In other words, you will not want to be so shy that you get so delicate that… you know how when your mother says: “Bring this to the table. But it is very fragile. Do not break”. That, “and then you get a little nervous, do you stumble? I wanted to make sure what I did were authentic, and I think the moment works very well. I hope the fans agree, and we will see where the chips fall. But I did not know the meaning of it completely. I recognized in the story when we filmed it, when I saw it, I said: “This is a great moment,” for the way they filmed it. But I did not realize how big it was. Then, that is quite funny. I thought it was very funny.

PreviousRoxyo.

Could you talk to Martin O’Donnell, who composed music for Halo’s original games? Did that ever arise?

I never met him. I would love to meet him. We have never spoken, but my respect for him and his work is as high as it can be. I think very few people write iconic themes. The iconic themes are rare, and when you hear that, you know exactly what it is and where it comes from. So I have great respect as an artist, and I hope that one day we can meet us.

As a composer, Martin O’Donnell has a lawsuit against Microsoft at this time by the original music of the game. Do you have any comments about that, or some potential impact on the program?

I have no comment, and I really do not know anything else than you know. I think they have kept me very far…

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